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View Poll Results: How important a factor is age in choosing your friends? (Friends=people to socialize with, not datin
Prefer to socialize with people in my own age group. 0 0%
Have friends (or can easily imagine having friends) who are ten or more years older or younger than me. 24 70.59%
Have friends who are ten or more years older or younger but think I'm unusual (think most people my age prefer friends their own age). 5 14.71%
Ten years younger or older would be ok, but more than that would definitely be too much of a gap. 1 2.94%
Wouldn't mind ten or more years younger, but not interested in having friends who are much older than me. 3 8.82%
Wouldn't mind ten or more years older, but not interested in having friends who are much younger than me. 1 2.94%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-27-2013, 09:50 PM
 
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For me, age has never been very important in choosing friends; who the person is as an individual matters more. But I know that some of the things in my background and personality that have made me that way, while not being all that unusual, aren't universal either. So for some people age is a lot more important.

I'm especially interested in the point of view of people in the typical age group for this forum because, as I think about 55+ communities, which appeal to me in a lot of ways, I'm aware that as a younger Boomer, the average age in them is of course much older than mine. I know it would be unrealistic to expect to never run into anyone who would make me feel unwelcome because of my age, but I'm wondering exactly how much of this to realistically expect to "go with the territory" (of being--at least at first--noticeably younger than the average resident).

I wouldn't be socializing extensively (I'm not super-outgoing), but would want to make some friends and be able to show up at the occasional activity that interests me without feeling out of place. I guess how conspicuous I would feel would depend how much the people around me are focused on age differences, so that's why I'm curious what you all think. I should add I'm a fairly empathetic person; I don't need to have had the exact same experience as someone else to relate to them. (I can usually easily relate whatever experience someone is talking about to something that is in my experience or at least my knowledge.)

It's not unusual to hear people talk about whether 55+ communities, especially the older, established ones, will attract Boomers (whether they provide the type of retirement lifestyle Boomers are looking for, etc.), but I've heard less discussion about, and am very curious about, whether Boomers will be welcomed by the current residents.

Last edited by City__Datarer; 06-27-2013 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:37 PM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
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There was no option for me in the poll because I don't use age as a criterion.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:50 PM
 
474 posts, read 773,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
There was no option for me in the poll because I don't use age as a criterion.
Sorry I didn't word this better. I meant second and third choice to mean age wouldn't be a determining factor (that you would wind up with, or could imagine having, friends in different age groups because you weren't using different age group as a deal-breaker--in other words, weren't using similar age as a criterion), but I can see how this isn't clear (could be read as purposely choosing them because of younger or older age--not what I meant).

Anyway, thanks for posting your "write-in" answer!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
There was no option for me in the poll because I don't use age as a criterion.
Option two in the poll is essentially that.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Mpls, MN, USA
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I'm all for all ages - variety is the spice of life.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:51 AM
 
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Is this poll a joke?
Neither the question or any of the answers come anywhere close to expressing anything I relate to.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:03 AM
 
474 posts, read 773,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Is this poll a joke?
Neither the question or any of the answers come anywhere close to expressing anything I relate to.
Not a joke--a sincere question.

Not sure exactly what you mean by is it a joke.

Some people just prefer the company of people who are their own age because they have a lot in common, but attitudes of one age group against another do unfortunately also exist. I'm interested in how common or rare they are. (Not that my poll was well-thought-out/well-worded enough to really get at this, but opinions posted may help answer my questions even though the poll could have been clearer.)

I'm interested in the question because I might possibly buy a home in a community where I won't--for some years--be the prototypical resident.

I've visited several 55+ communities where I live now, in Florida, and talked to some of the residents. I've also learned a lot from people on City-Data who live in various senior communities.

As far as going to see communities personally, I've had largely positive, welcoming experiences, but did have someone I met kind of ruin an otherwise very positive day and favorable impression of how nice it might be to live there by raising the question of whether I was too young for their community.

I made a mistake with a previous home I bought and took a financial hit on it (misjudged whether it was a suitable permanent home for me and sold when the market was low), and I need to try not to make another mistake.

Again, I'm not sure I'm understanding your post, but if your meaning is you can't relate to this thread because you're unaware of these stereotypes (don't think like this yourself and don't know people who do), then I'm glad (glad that you haven't come across that negativity, glad it's that rare). I was surprised when I started coming across this kind of attitude more often than I would ever have expected in anonymous Internet posts.

It makes me happier when I see people treating everyone as a unique individual to get to know rather than prejudging them--but these age-related stereotypes are out there to some extent; I'm just trying to learn more about the extent. (Glad to see the poll results so far--thanks, everyone who participated. )

I should add I don't think it's the case that someone who prefers friends of their own age necessarily holds any negative views toward other age groups. In thinking about 55+ communities, I'm not worried about becoming friends with everyone (I'm not that social of a person to want that; I really don't mind if most people ignore me), but I just want to know some people would welcome me and, especially, that anyone's expressing that I didn't belong there because of my age would be a small number of people, that age (age difference) wouldn't be an issue coming up for me all the time.

Last edited by City__Datarer; 06-28-2013 at 03:04 AM..
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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My answer changes depending on variables. And also if we're talking about me trying to hang out with younger kids or your situation of a younger retiree trying to fit into an older retiree group. So I'll split it into two posts.

In general, I would say age is not much of a factor if we have interests in common. For example, I just started getting involved with the volunteer fire department in my town and you tend to socialize with the other people on your shift. We have interests in common, so it doesn't matter what age people are. On city-data I enjoy having conversations with all sorts of people who have shared interests without caring what age they are. Etc.

At the same time, when I go to parties or public events, I tend to gravitate towards people over 30. Part of that is my preference for having conversations with people closer to my age, part of it is knowing that kids under 30 wouldn't want me walking up and trying to join into their conversations anyway. I don't want to be that dorky old lady who tries to hang out with the kids to "look cool". And my closest friends all seem to be over the age of 35.

The 10-year range is narrow for me, though. In general I feel comfortable with (and welcomed by) anyone 35 and older.

Last edited by Caladium; 06-28-2013 at 04:32 AM..
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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Regarding moving into a 55+ community and feeling comfortable socializing with people much older than you....

IMO much of that depends on the individual community. Some communities are cliquish, others not as much. Also, some communities have residents age 70+ who harbor resentments against the "younger generation" and may not welcome you if they fear you're going to try to change things. So if you're like me and still love rock music, for example, you might not make as many friends if you show up at the your first social event wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt and talking about how you want the community center to start hosting rock concerts.

If you think you might not fit in with a new community due to age differences, visit for at least a few days and hang out in the places you'd normally make friends to see how friendly the people are to you. Also, when you introduce yourself try to present yourself as a person having things in common with the others.

Last edited by Caladium; 06-28-2013 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,886 posts, read 62,039,249 times
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I am drawn to other people b/c of similar interests as well as the "energy" they project. I have found that introverted folks often have a very steady energy . . . so it doesn't have anything to do with someone being "outgoing" . . . I gravitate to others who are more inclined to have one-on-one conversations or who are doing something creative that I relate to, have experience in, or want to learn about.

Often, this can mean a big spread in years as far as age difference, but that is typically not something I think about at the time.

It is also nice to be around other folks who have had similar life experiences, i.e. raised kids, had a career, lived various places, enjoy traveling, etc . . .easy conversation. So sometimes, it is good to be around folks near my own age or older . . . but again, this is not something I consciously "seek out" . . . good conversation leads to wanting to get together again in a natural way, regardless age.
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